Just got the news that The Weinstein Company has optioned Gerald Clarke's splendid Judy Garland biography, "Get Happy." And that willowy beauty Anne Hathaway is expected to star as the diminutive dynamo whom mogul Louis B. Mayer liked to call "my little hunchback."
My kneejerk reaction was: How can a bona fide stunner -- perhaps the most gorgeous woman in Hollywood since Ava Gardner -- play the famously insecure Garland who was envious of Gardner, her sister MGM star?
Then I started thinking about about Hathaway's and Garland's similarities: Both were perky teen stars who made their names in family films and then surprised everyone with their dramatic chops. Hathaway has a lovely voice, but it will take some work for her to develop the Garland vibrato that massaged the hearts of its listeners.
What's great about Clarke's book is that it breaks the template of the typical biopic. It's both tragic and triumphal, and doesn't wallow in its subject's self-destruction.